5-3-2011: April farm report for Pawtucket
May 4, 2011 1 Comment
One month is in the books. You know what’s going on with the Major league club, but here’s a look at our minor league affiliates and some of the interesting performances at each level.
Pawtucket Red Sox (AAA)
The Paw Sox have gotten off to a strong 14-11 start. They have managed to score 5.3 runs/game (2nd best in the International League), while allowing only 3.6 runs/game (3rd in the IL). Despite a middling batting average of .258, the team boasts an excellent .350 OBP and .442 SLG. The pitching has been solid, but perhaps not quite as good as they’ve been early on. The low ERA is largely dependent on a very low rate of 7.5 hits per 9 and 0.7 HR per 9, best in the league.
|Juan Carlos Linares||64||0.233||0.281||0.500||0.781||6.3%||20.0%||0.244||0.331||103|
Two of the best hitters have been names who were once considered top prospects at their positions, but fell behind Ryan Kalish and Jose Iglesias on the depth chart. SS Yamaico Navarro has been blistering hot at the dish with 14 XBH, while racking up great walk and K rates. He won’t keep slugging like this, but this 23-year old could earn a look late this year if he keeps hitting well. And if you thought we had a lot of middle infield depth at the Major League level, there’s also 28-year old Drew Sutton, currently batting .321/.394/.536.
OF Josh Reddick has also had a nice start after a somewhat disappointing 2010, showing improved plate discipline and a rejuvenated power stroke (8 HR and 17 RBI in 96 AB). At age 24, Reddick could still carve out a spot on next year’s roster with a good season, especially with Kalish’s partial labrum tear on the Red Sox’ minds.
1B Lars Anderson is hitting .284/.422/.333 – yeah, that slugging percentage is not a typo. Daniel Nava hasn’t been able to hit, but he’s also walking like there’s no tomorrow. Great OBP, but you can’t make it in the bigs at their positions without some pop. Lastly, C Mike McKenry is hitting .306/.419/.528 in limited duty, so I’d like to see him get a shot at some point this summer.
On the pitching side of the ball, our bullpen depth is looking pretty good (knock on wood). Scott Atchison has posted a 17:1 K:BB ratio in 16.2 IP, showing that he deserves a spot on the big club. However, since he has minor league options, it’s likely he will remain at Pawtucket until injury or ineffectiveness affects our bullpen up here. Michael Bowden is also making a pretty good case to be considered for a relief role, with 17 Ks of his own against just 4 walks in 16.1 IP. His ERA stands at 1.65, his FIP at 2.65, though some of that may be due to BABIP luck.
Rich Hill has done well in his 15.1 IP of work, with 16 whiffs and 5 walks, posting a 1.17 ERA (3.13 FIP). Now that the Sox are stretching out Felix Doubront, it looks like Hill will be next on the LOOGY depth chart after Hideki Okajima. Andrew Miller has posted a shiny 2.42 ERA in the rotation, but in a very unorthodox manner. In 22.1 IP, he’s surrendered just 6 earned runs on 13 hits, but walked 17 while striking out 16. His 4.19 FIP reveals the dubiousness of his performance thus far.
If there’s a surprise, I’d say it’s lefty Kyle Weiland, who has been quite solid (23.2 IP, 3.42 ERA, 3.79 FIP), and at the age of 24, he might be re-establishing himself as a depth starter (or building up some decent trade value). The walk rate is a bit high, but he’s been pretty good otherwise.